Teaching your dog to speak is an exciting process. There is almost no person who doesn’t admire a talking dog!
Well, talking in the way we know it may be going a bit too far, but still, the question of the day is:
How to teach a dog to speak?
The internet is full of viral footage showing various dog breeds talking to their humans. To become one of these dog parents, all you need to do is carefully follow the steps we have prepared.
We guarantee that you will get the perfect plan on how to transform your dog into a dog who loves talking in a few minutes.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
The Simple Science of Dogs “Speaking”
As you are aware, dog speaking is actually a kind of barking.
You also know that barking is one of the primary ways of communication for dogs. When you hear your dog bark, they usually alert you that something is happening, positive or negative.
The philosophy of teaching your dog how to speak comes down to so-called single barking.
You need to get your dog to bark and associate it with a particular reward. Repetition and persistence will prove to be key factors here.
Once you have done this successfully, you can even experiment with getting your dog to learn to howl and sing to particular melodies!
However, we are getting ahead of ourselves!
Let’s get the basics down first:
How to Teach Your Dog to Speak – 4 Easy Steps
To better understand the whole process of teaching your dog to speak, we will divide it into several steps which are easy to follow:
- Choose the right reward;
- Get your dog to bark;
- Encourage the single bark;
- Practice the isolated command.
Plan out everything, bring it into action, and repeat it as many times as possible!
Step #1 – Choose the Right Reward
Choosing the proper reward makes it easier for you and your dog at the beginning of the entire process.
The better reward you choose, the easier it will be for your dog to master the command. It can be either a treat, a toy, or a big hug!
Of course, it depends on what suits your dog better, and you know that better than anyone.
Most dog parents will choose a particular treat. A quick piece of advice here would be to make sure the treat is healthy and that it is your dog’s favorite.
Step #2 – Get Your Dog To Bark
In this step, it is very important to know in which situations your dog can start barking.
For example, this can be when you open the door, ring the bell or just run around. Of course, this step is a lot easier if you have a dog that is noisy and curious by nature.
However, if you are not so lucky, remember what excites your dog positively that can cause them to start barking. Figuring this step is essential as you won’t be able to build a positive connection between your command and barking without it.
Step #3 – Encourage the Single Bark
Once you hear your dog barking, know that you have the perfect opportunity to take action on step two.
All you need to do is encourage the single bark! So how do you do this?
Reward your dog with a treat and say:
Pay attention not to reward your dog for running around the house and barking frantically. Instead, you only want to reward single barks! Otherwise, you might show your dog that it is good to bark all day long since that makes you happy. Unlearning this behavior might be incredibly troublesome later down the road.
Instead, reward your dog only after each successfully repeated trick. To recap, it goes something like this:
- Your dog gets excited over something (you pick up the leash to take them outside).
- They bark once or twice out of excitement.
- You immediately say the speak command and reward your dog with a treat.
- Rinse and repeat until your dog gets used to the speak command.
Of course, keep in mind not to repeat the command too many times. This is because dogs have limited attention, and too many repetitions will not be beneficial.
Step #4 – Practice the Isolated Command
What we mean by this is:
Once your dog gets the hang of the previous exercise, they will associate barking with the reward.
However, each time so far, they first got excited and started barking, and then you came in with the command. Now, it is time to switch things up and try saying the command without previous stimuli.
Simply walk up to your dog during playtime, get their attention, and repeat the command in a clear, projective voice.
If they bark, good job – reward them as usual!
If they don’t bark at your command just yet, simply repeat step #3 until they build a stronger connection.
Bonus Tip: Your hand movement plays a powerful role in the overall process of perfecting command. Your dog will learn the trick faster when they notice your hand movement. Use a characteristic position of the hand that is recognizable (for example, the thumb directed towards the dog and the other fingers touch the thumb).
Some Cool Tips For Success
Now that you are familiar with the process, here are some useful tips for more success with the training:
All commands that are new to your dog, including the speak command, require some time for adjustment and improvement.
Most dog parents expect instant results at the beginning. As a result, they force the dog when they are tired or simply not interested in learning a new command.
To not fail with your dog during the learning process, we recommend that you do not force the dog to learn a new command at any time. Instead, choose the right time when your dog is interested in learning.
This may be the morning for some dogs, when they are full of energy and ready to seize the day. For others, evenings are perfect for learning.
Pay attention to your dog’s energy levels and attention span during the day and train only during those hours.
Once again, impatience is your biggest enemy!
Do not immediately jump from one step to another, but gradually progress through the steps.
A sign that you are going at a fast pace when teaching your dog this command is that your dog seems to have no idea what is going on most of the time.
Take a step back, go back to the most basic level of the command, and repeat until you feel like you are making progress.
Slowly remove the treat.
The real success with every command is reached when your dog can execute the command without a treat!
If they are getting the hang of the basic command quite well, start skipping giving them the treat from time to time. Simply say the command and say ‘good job’ when they do it.
This increases the chances that your dog will unconditionally execute the command every time, which means you won’t need treats around you every time you want them to speak!
Maybe the whole speaking command seems like a too challenging task. However, all you have to do is approach this command like any other, with a smile on your face and trust the process.
You will see that your dog will soon start speaking.
Let’s hear your thoughts now:
Have you ever tried to teach your dog this command?
How much time did it take you?
Let us know in the comments below!
See you in the next post!